Obscure Medical Terms: How Well Do You 'Speak Medicine'?

Albert B. Lowenfels, MD


November 09, 2018

Images from Wikimedia Commons/Dreamstime

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also referred to as "stress cardiomyopathy," is a transient cardiac syndrome resulting from severe emotional or physical stress and mimicking acute coronary syndrome. The Japanese word takotsubo translates to "octopus pot," describing the shape of the left ventricle during systole seen on imaging studies in these patients.

A recent study of individuals experiencing profound grief as the result of a loss of a spouse found that the stress may result in levels of inflammation high enough to cause heart damage.[13] Elevations in proinflammatory cytokines appeared to be dose-related; spousally bereaved individuals with greater levels of grief develop higher levels of inflammation than those who experience less severe grief.

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